Rating: ★★★★★

Address: 3/F, No.12 Songren Road, Taipei 110, Taiwan

Telephone: +886 2 7737 0700

http://www.coffee-alley.com/index.html

Hong Kong has been catching on the cafe culture these few years, with a number of chic cafes taking up residence in the dining scene. However, by comparison, the cafes in Taipei are at the moment a notch above the ones in Hong Kong, and offer many innovative culinary creations that are both beautiful and scrumptious.

One of the must-try cafe chains in Taipei is Coffee Alley, which specialises in coffee, waffles, sandwiches and desserts and currently has 6 outlets in Taipei and 1 outlet in Hong Kong. As the Hong Kong outlet is incredibly busy all the time, I seized the opportunity to try out the outlet in Taipei when I was there!

I was staying at W Hotel in Taipei (see my review here), which was within walking distance from the ATT mall where the cafe was located. My friend and I were very lucky to be seated straightaway without a booking when we went there at around 4.30pm in the afternoon.

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(1) We ordered a corn and cheese croissant sandwich (NT$180), which was not only beautifully colourful but also completely satisfying, with the corn giving a mild crunch and the cheese and dressing adding rich flavours to the dish.

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(2) The mustard bacon cheese sandwich (NT$180) was accomplished – the serving of bacon was generous without making the sandwich overly salty at all.

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(3) The waffles here are absolutely unmissable, and a signature waffle, the waffle with fresh strawberry, ice cream and custard (NT$180) was swiftly ordered. Coffee Alley’s waffles were utterly mouthwatering – they were spongy and eggy, and tasted a bit like sponge cake but with more bite. Fresh strawberries were piled next to our waffles, which were dressed in a faux strawberry sauce and served with some strawberry ice cream and custard.

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(4) The other waffle we ordered was the chocolate ice cream and banana waffle (NT$170), which was also a popular option at the cafe. Chocolate ice cream and bananas were a match made in heaven with waffles – this dish was an explosion of decadent flavours!

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(5) Besides the outstanding food, the coffees at Coffee Alley were also completely delicious. My cafe latte (NT$150) had a refined espresso taste, and the milk was well frothed and velvety. The coffee was served with two pieces of biscotti and a brown sugar stick.

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(6) The sea salt caramel latte (NT$150) was a guilty pleasure, as it came with a huge dollop of whipped cream drizzled in sea salt caramel. The combination of coffee, fresh cream, caramel and almonds was unforgettable!

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(7) Besides lattes, we also ordered a white chocolate mocha (NT$150), which was recommended to us by the waitress. We were very thankful for her suggestion – the mocha was utterly milky and scrumptious, and the white chocolate accentuated its delicious flavours!

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With such playful and creative offerings, reasonable prices and likeable staff, it is no surprise that the chain boasts a steady clientele in all of its Taipei and Hong Kong branches!